mark this: unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.
jesus, by way of mark 18:15
this verse has been weighing heavy on my mind lately, as i’ve considered what it means to live like a child. i have the opportunity to observe children being picked up from daycare yesterday for about an hour. they have some very interesting and unique characteristics.
first, children are, by nature, slower. a mom walking beside her children will find that her pace must slow. their legs are smaller, they have no clear destination to be motivated towards, and their attention is easily distracted. although they seem to be filled with such a high level of energy, they do not rush. they have no agenda.
children also delight in being with their parents. often it is the simplest things they love–being pushed in a swing, holding hands, being held…as long as it equals time and attention from their parent(s). watching a child in a pool is often annoying as they jump in, swim to the edge, crawl out, yell “dad, watch me!”, and repeat. neither their desire nor their energy ever seem to expire.
they aren’t afraid of who they are, how loud or fat. they don’t run to lose weight, but because it brings them joy. they don’t pay for an expensive hair-style, but settle for whatever cut mom can do at home. they also don’t worry about provision; they trust they will have what they need, that their parents are true when they say they love them and won’t let them go hungry. and if they need something, they just ask.
children tend to love recklessly and can’t be convinced otherwise. even children in abusive situations will still claim to love their parents. it is literally as if you can’t beat the love out of them.
finally (and this may not actually be “finally” as more characteristics come up), children hate carrying things, but they love to be held. i am blown away in thinking about how this could revolutionize our adult lives if we carried less and let our ourselves be held more….